Öncü leads the way and breaks circuit record in Indonesia13/10/2023
The Turkish rider sets the best time on Friday, with Jose Antonio Rueda thirteenth.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo had a productive first day in Mandalika on Friday. After the first two sessions, both riders finished up with very good feelings. Deniz Öncü was the standout performer with the best time overall, while Jose Antonio Rueda finished thirteenth in his debut at the Indonesian circuit.
Öncü had a good feeling from the start of Practice 1. In a session in which there were numerous crashes, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider increased the pace and reached the Top 5. After a pit stop, he continued working to improve his lap times and worked alongside his teammate. Having completed 15 laps, Öncü achieved his best time on the final attempt, with a 1:41.391 for fifth position. Rueda focused on adapting to the track as quickly as possible. The Moto3 rider made steady progress, and after going into the garage he took a big step forward, occupying the first positions and taking advantage of the last minutes to increase his pace. His penultimate lap of 15 put him in an outstanding third position with a 1:41.220.
In the afternoon session the pair aimed to improve their times and secure places in Q2. Öncü had a better feeling and showed great pace from start to finish, breaking the circuit record thanks to his 1:39.855 on an 11th lap of 15. He finished the day as the fastest in the class. Rueda faced Practice 2 with confidence after a good start to the day. The Moto3 rookie also managed to lower his time from the morning, although he had to push hard to qualify among the Top 15. After completing 15 laps, Rueda achieved his best time on his penultimate attempt, 1:40.754, finishing 13th.
Qualifying for the Indonesian Grand Prix will take place on Saturday from 12:50 PM local time.
Results (Combined practice times P1 – P2)
1. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.855
2. Diogo Moreira (KTM) 1:39.987 +0.123
3. Jaume Masia (Honda) 1:40.087 +0.232
4. Matteo Bertelle (Honda) 1:40.109 +0.254
5. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 1:40.209 +0.354
13. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:40.754 +0.899
#53 DENIZ ÖNCÜ
“We started the weekend in a good way. It’s important to be focused and consistent in each session. We did a good job today, both the team and I are working hard to find the best feeling and the best setup for the bike. We are fast and we also set the new circuit record. Let’s see how qualifying goes and fight for a good place on the grid.”
#99 JOSE ANTONIO RUEDA
“It has been a very positive first day, since it is a circuit we didn’t know. In the first practice I was a little lost, but I managed to find a line behind Deniz in the last minutes and set a good time, then place third. In Practice 2 I had some problems with the bike, but we know what it is and we are already working to solve it for tomorrow. Even so, we finished 12+1 today, tomorrow morning we will have to make another push to reach Q2 directly. I’m very happy with the work we have done alongside the team.”